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Progressing with the 5,4,3,2,1 Method

In this phase of training I have been using the 5,4,3,2,1 method with Toby and he is responding very well to it. It is a method that teaches your body how to perform lower reps more efficiently. Toby is good at repeating efforts but would struggle to recruit the higher threshold muscles once the reps got lower. So, over the past few cycles I have gradually reduced his average rep range to get his cns used to performing some lower rep work and thought the 5,4,3,2,1 method would be a good way to finish off his cycle before he leaves for his holiday this coming Tuesday.

Another good thing about the 5,4,3,2,1 method is that the descending reps make the workout feel a lot easier psychologically and you feel as though you are getting much stronger each set, which is very motivating.

It is also a very simple method to implement. You perform a 5RM and then add weight each set whilst dropping the reps by one. It is recommended you add 2-3% on each set, whilst dropping that rep, but what you will find early on is that you can probably add a bit more until you really start to get to true max lifts for the given reps. Toby jumped 5% on a lot of his lifts but he has only done 2 workouts of each so far. I would expect these jumps to now begin to fall into that 2-3% range.

An example workout for Toby is as follows:

A1. Back Squat Heels Elevated, 5,4,3,2,1, 4010, 120 seconds rest

A2. Standing Leg Curl Toes In, 5 x 3-5, 4010, 120 seconds rest

B1. Deadlift, 5,4,3,2,1, 4110, 120 seconds rest

B2. DB Lunges, 5 x 3-5, 20X0, 120 seconds rest

Here is a video of Toby hitting a 180kg deadlift for a single, which happens to be a current PB for him. It is a good effort considering it is after performing back squats and leg curls prior to it in his workout.

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